We all know that interaction is the name of the game when it comes to social marketing. We also know that the more comments we get on our blogs, the more involved our leads become. In short, user-generated content (USG) is absolutely great, right? Well, not 100%. Thanks to internet trolls, your comments can become breeding grounds for tumors on your marketing sales efforts. Add to that the fact that USG can bog down and tie up your server and now you’re looking at two strikes against your website.
Still, it makes zero sense to turn off USG comment capability because you can use this to gauge your market, getting personal insight about what your leads and clients want and think. This is a powerful marketing advantage and not one that you should give up just because of some trolls and a slower server. So what’s the answer? Third party USG platforms.
What are Third Party USG Platforms?
Third party platforms are simply sites that manage your USG. They take the comments onto their own servers, monitor them and provide useful tools such as anti-spam programs. This cuts down on most of the problems that come from USG while preserving the benefits. Plus, these platforms are widely recognized across the internet, giving you a slight boost in the search engine rankings for people searching for USG as a means of product review and customer feedback.
The two most popular USG comment platforms are Disqus and IntenseDebate.
Here’s a brief overview of who uses them and why you should consider doing so as well:
1. Disqus. This is the flag bearer of the third party comment management systems. Disqus has some of the biggest names in industry and business using it. While it might be overkill for smaller websites and marketing blogs, it certainly works well enough for Time, Computerworld and CNN to use it. The big sell with Disqus is that it permits you to transfer all of your old comments right into its system, freeing up your website now while still preserving the info and data for future leads and clients to read and get into.
Even better, you don’t have to log in to post, something that discourages USG. Disqus is mobile friendly and simple to use. Users can automatically post hyperlinks and post up images as well, giving you a more user-friendly and engaging comment platform. The basic version of Disqus is free and works with WordPress and all other popular blogging platforms.
2. IntenseDebate. The company that made WordPress (Automattic) is also the maker of IntenseDebate. This third-party comment management platform integrated the anti-spam prowess of Akismet to provide one of the strongest spam prevention systems in the industry. Further, IntenseDebate functions completely with all social media platforms. It also allows you to create white lists and black lists to better control your commentary (while giving users the same option to better their user experience).
As the site owner, you can also respond to comments directly through email, giving you a powerful follow-up tool that is more personal and likely to generate a sale. There is also a reputation point system as well as comment voting, creating a better sense of community as well as a way for distinguished posters to be easily recognized by first time visitors to your site and social media pages. For the coders and developers out there, you’ll be happy to know that IntenseDebate is open code/source.